Category Archives: Gin Cocktails

Gin Cocktails | Lady Patricia Mother’s Day cocktail

Lady Pat

I inadvertently got my start in understanding gin from my mother. She’s a herbalist so I learnt about herbs and flowers and flavours from as early as I can remember. I taste the difference between echinacea angustifolia and echinacea purpurea from ten paces, but I also learned about things like liquorice root and angelica and cardamom and juniper. I learned about essential oils and how they are made through distillation. I learned about the volatility of natural oils, how scent profiles, and indeed flavour profiles, are made up of top, middle and base notes. All the techniques I use to critique gin, all learned at my mother’s knee.

So for Mother’s Day I wanted to design a cocktail especially for my mum. She’s quite particular about what she likes. Nothing too sweet and nothing too strong, but she loves flowers. So I started with flowers; lavender and elderflower. Cocktails are about balancing sweet, sour and strong, so sweet if from homemade lavender syrup, and St Germain Elderflower liqueur, the sour from a dash of lemon juice and the strong from (wait for it…) gin!

Lady Pat composite30mL lavender syrup *
15mL St Germain Elderflower liqueur
7.5mL fresh lemon juice
15mL gin, a light flavoured clean gin like Bombay Sapphire will work well
Sparkling mineral water

Combine syrup, liqueur, juice and gin in a tall glass with lots of ice, stir gently. Top up glass with chilled sparkling mineral water. If you, or your mum, have a sweet tooth you can leave out the lemon juice and use a good cloudy lemonade instead of mineral water. Serve with a twist of lemon peel as a garnish, or with a lavender flower if you have one.

Lavender syrup*To make a small batch of lavender syrup combine 50g of sugar with 50mL of boiling water and a handful of dried lavender flowers. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved and leave for about five minutes then strain out the lavender flower. Chill before using. The syrup will last for about 2 weeks in the fridge. And I recommend putting it in the fridge straight away for helpful gentleman gin drinkers clean up the kitchen and throw it out.

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Gin Cocktails | French 75

gin, French 75, cocktail, drinksSimply posting the French 75 as a gin cocktail will be controversial. Many claim that the classic French 75 features congac rather than gin, but I’m going to take my lead from The Savoy Cocktail Book of 1930, the first known recipe, which definitely uses gin.

There does seem to be a general consensus that the French 75 was invented at the New York Bar in Paris in 1915 by Harry MacElhone. It was named for the French 75mm field gun which was small, but packed a punch. A reference to the cocktail’s potency. As they said in The Savoy Cocktail Book it ‘hits with remarkable precision’.

There is also a vast discrepancy in the amount of gin that should be used, I’ve seen everything from 7.5mL (1/4oz) to 60mL (2oz), along with most of a glass of champagne or dry sparking wine, that can be quite a hit.

Here’s my best recipe:

30mL Gin, any solid mid-range gin will do, Tanquery, Bombay Sapphire, Beefeater etc
15mL fresh lemon juice, it’s really worth juicing yourself, don’t use the bottled stuff
15 mL simple/sugar syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a champagne flute. Fill the glass with a brut champagne or sparkling wine, nothing too fancy. Pour the wine over a spoon so it doesn’t fizz over.

Traditionally a French 75 if a delightful pre-dinner drink, but I say indulge at any sparkling moment.

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